5 Brand Videos That Don’t Suck

Twice a week this month, Digiday will examine ways of “Improving Web Video.” We’ll cover both challenges and opportunities in online video and highlight brands and publishers getting it right. The series is made possible through the sponsorship of Vizu.

Brands love video. The Web has produced some memorable brand efforts dating back to the release of BMW Films. It’s also produced its share of duds. Check out our picks for five recent brand Web videos that are worth sharing.

1. Sesame Street, “Share It Maybe”
You wouldn’t expect a children’s TV show brand to understand Web culture so well, but Sesame Street clearly gets it. Capitalizing on the mega-hit pop song “Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen, which has spawned all kinds of Web video spoofs of the song, Sesame Street created its own Cookie Monster version. While still keeping true to its kid-friendly brand message, this video was something that grownups would appreciate, and of course, share. The video, which was released on July 10, now has just shy of 6 million views on YouTube.

2. Virgina Mobile Australia, “Meet Doug Pitt”
If you didn’t know, A-list star Brad Pitt grew up in good old Missouri. And guess what? He as a normal non-celeb brother who still lives there. Virgin Mobile Australia tapped Pitt’s younger non-celeb brother to make this site and video “Meet Doug Pitt.” The funny video features Doug (who looks a whole lot like his famous bro) doing normal guy things in his home, like washing his minivan. The video has over 1 million views on YouTube. Humor and celebrity culture is usually a good recipe for viral lift.

3. DC Shoes, “Ken Block’s Gymkhana Five; Urban Playground; San Francisco”
DC Shoes, the skatewear and action sports brand, partnered with Ford to produce a series of videos featuring Ken Block, professional rally driver and co-founder of DC Shoes, and his insane driving skills. This fifth adrenaline-pumping video in the series features Block racing and weaving his way through the hilly streets of San Francisco in a souped up Ford Fiesta. The video has a whopping 19 million views on YouTube.

4. Prada, “A Therapy”
Famed (and controversial) film director Roman Polanski produced this stylish short film for illustrious fashion house Prada. In the short, Polanksi portrays bourgeois malaise through a psychoanalysis session with Sir Ben Kingsley as the therapist and Helena Bonham Carter as the wealthy, Prada-clad patient. However, the true focus is a fabulous purple Prada fur coat that the therapist cannot keep his eyes off of. The short ends in true Polanski bizarre and gender-bending fashion.

5. Rapha, “The Snowys”
Rapha is a performance roadwear brand (in other words, cycling gear). Rapha has produced a series of beautifully shot short films that showcase the geography, nature and culture of surrounding areas of various bike routes all over the world. This particular and most recent feauture “The Snowys” is about the Snowy Mountains in south-eastern Australia, the rich cultural history of the rugged area, and the challenging bike ride through the snowy terrain.